Our Scientific

Collaborators

Partnering with world-renowned scientists to advance Lyme research.

Paul Keim, Ph.D.

Professor

TGen Pathogen and Microbiome Division

Regents Professor & Executive Director

NAU Pathogen and Microbiome Institute

Former Chairman

National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity

Paul Keim is a Professor of the Pathogen and Microbiome Division of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). At Northern Arizona University (NAU) he also is: a Regents Professor in Biology; Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology; and Executive Director of the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute. His work results in a unified approach to protecting America against dangerous pathogens. Dr. Keim’s efforts include: Bolstering of biodefense through improved forensic analysis; understanding interactions between man and microbe to develop new therapeutics and diagnostics that will alleviate the human ailments caused by dangerous pathogens; and developing an improved understanding of disease movement to reduce and control the incidence of disease. His pathogen genomics programs provide high-resolution genomic forensic analysis of biothreat pathogenic agents such as Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), Yersinia pestis (plague), Francisella tularensis (tularemia), Burkholderia mallei (glanders), Brucella melitensis (brucellosis), and Coxiella burnett (Q fever). These are considered the most dangerous of the bacterial bioterrorism and bioweapons agents. The programs also build upon collaborations with state and federal agencies in developing molecular identification tools for public health related pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and tuberculosis, which cause illness in billions of individuals worldwide. TGen will continue to create the scientific base to launch responses for acts of bioterrorism and to develop strategies to optimize public health management. In addition to development of advanced tests for dangerous pathogens, the programs focus on understanding the interaction between the pathogen and its environment (ecology), the movement of the pathogen and the associated ailments though a population (epidemiology), and the changes associated with the propagation of the pathogen over time (evolution).

David Engelthaler, Ph.D.

Director

TGen Pathogen and Microbiome Division

David Engelthaler is the Director of the Pathogen and Microbiome Division at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). David is currently overseeing research projects involving rapid antibiotic resistance detection; development of novel genotyping techniques for molecular epidemiology and microbial forensics; fungal phylogenetics; and more. A major focus of this works involves adapting and advancing the use of next generation sequencing tools for infectious disease research and health care. David also oversees the application of the above research in real-life disease outbreak investigations, both natural and man-made. Prior to joining TGen, David was the State Epidemiologist for Arizona, at the Arizona Department of Health Services. He has also served as the Arizona Bioterrorism Coordinator and as biologist for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. David received a Masters Degree in Microbiology from Colorado State University and an undergraduate degree in biology from Northern Arizona University.

Jolene Bowers, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
TGen Pathogen and Microbiome Division

Dr. Bowers is a Research Assistant Professor at TGen North, the Pathogen and Microbiome Division of TGen, and serves as Assistant Director of the Public Health and Clinical Translation Center. Her work centers around development of next-generation molecular tools for clinical diagnostics for infectious disease, antibiotic resistance detection, and for epidemiological surveillance of pathogens. She recently oversaw the clinical validation of a diagnostic assay for valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) in preparation for FDA clearance. Dr. Bowers’ team also works closely with public health agencies at the local, state, and national levels to apply cutting edge tools to investigate outbreaks and conduct epidemiological studies in support of these agencies.

Dr. Bowers joined TGen North in 2007, and received her Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University in 2016, focusing on the evolution and dissemination of a carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) known as Klebsiella pneumoniae ST258, and identifying genomic markers for identification and characterization of K. pneumoniae in complex specimens. Her dissertation work has served as a template for several studies at TGen North.

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